Weekly News Wrap: January 6, 2014
Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- South Sudan peace talks were scheduled to start on Sunday in Addis Ababa, but were delayed once again.
- Congolese troops staved off armed attacks in Kinshasa by armed followers of a religious leader who is critical of President Kabila over his decision to make peace with Tutsi rebels in Eastern Congo.
- Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for car bombings outside a hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia.
- Chinese police have killed eight alleged terrorists in its Western Xinjiang province, home to its Uyghur minority.
- Protests have broken out in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in the build-up to elections which have been denounced as fraudulent by 21 parties who refuse to participate.
- In his New Year’s speech, North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un warned about nuclear disaster if war were to break out on the Korean Peninsula, and threatened the US.
- In editorials, the NYTimes and the Guardian have called for recognition of Edward Snowden as a whistleblower.
- The Palestinian envoy to the Czech Republic was killed on New Year’s day in his own residence, allegedly as a result of an explosion of his safe. During their investigations, Czech police discovered illegal weapons.
- US Secretary of State John Kerry is in Israel to facilitate negotiations on an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, he is reporting some progress although it is unlikely that a deal will be reached soon. The Christian Science Monitor reports that an offer of US troops to help secure the Israeli-Palestinian border may be on the table, although military sources consider it a bad idea.
- John Kerry has also hinted that Iran may play a role from the sidelines during the negotiations on Syria later this month in Geneva.
- There are signs that the Syrian civil war is spilling over into Iraq, with the al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) taking control of Fallujah and Ramadi, prompting a counterattack by the Iraqi army. In Syria, rebels have launched an offensive against these groups
- Russia was found by Global Trade Alert to be the most protectionist nation of 2013.
- In Athens, gunmen opened fire on the residence of the German ambassador on the eve of Greece’s 6 months presidency of the European Union.
- Latvia became the 18th member to join the Eurozone on January 1.
- Seven years after they joined the European Union, free movement finally became a reality for Bulgarian and Romanian citizens. The EU and local politicians tried to calm fears about the arrival of large hordes of immigrants in some of the wealthier EU members, such as the UK.